Zeeshan Z. Banday: Plant Physiology First Author

Zeeshan Z. Banday, first author of “Friend or Foe: Hybrid proline-rich proteins determine how plants respond to beneficial and pathogenic microbes”

Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, USA


Ph.D. Life Sciences Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

M.Sc. Biochemistry Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

B.Sc. Biology and Chemistry University of Kashmir, Srinagar

Non-scientific Interests: Biking, white water rafting, swimming, poetry, enjoy time with my children Maryam and Issa

Brief bio: I was introduced to the field of plant-microbe interactions during the first year of my Ph.D. in Dr. Ashis Nandi’s lab at the School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. There we showed that a member of Glutathione-S-transferase family has a role in regulating immune memory formation in Arabidopsis. After my PhD, I worked briefly as a Research Associate in Dr. Ashverya Laxmi’s lab at National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi studying sugar-mediated thermomemory induction by heat stress.

In 2017, I moved to the United States to join Dr. Jean Greenberg’s group in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The Greenberg lab has been instrumental in furthering my development as a researcher. Dr. Greenberg has been an amazing mentor and has constantly pushed me towards independence- a great virtue to have in our field of work. In the Greenberg lab, I studied plastid envelope reprogramming during the immune response. We found that a large family of proteins called Hybrid Proline-Rich Proteins (HyPRPs), that reside at plastid membranes and other locations regulate immune, development and growth responses to microbes (beneficial or harmful). I am currently working in a joint project with Dr. Jocelyn Malamy and Dr. Eduardo Perozo at The University of Chicago, trying to understand the mechanoelectrical (MET) transduction in Cnidaria (Jelly Fish; Clytia hemisphaerica). This work involves using Genetics, Cell and Molecular Biology approaches to functionally characterize MET components.